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Kitchen Cabinet Height Guide: How High Should They Be?


From the refrigerator and stove to the flooring and counters, every part of your home’s kitchen should be highly functional and exceptionally beautiful. As one of the most important features in any kitchen design, your kitchen cabinets play a big role in making a statement and providing you with the functional workspace that you need, but knowing exactly where to hang the upper cabinets can be a challenge.

When choosing the height of your kitchen cabinets, there are many different factors to consider, and finding the right solution for your space depends on the style, needs, and overall layout of the heart of your family’s home.

What’s the Standard Height for Kitchen Cabinets?

First things first—what is the typical height of upper cabinets in the kitchen? The answer may not be as black and white as you would think, and it really comes down to the overall styling of the space and the needs of the family that lives there.

In the past, it was standard to install kitchen cabinets 18 inches off of the countertop. However, with the change in times and shifting trends, it is becoming much more popular to add a bit more breathing room to the kitchen by raising the height of the cabinets. In modern kitchens, hanging cabinets 20 inches or more off of the countertop is becoming the standard across the board.

When Should You Consider Raising Your Kitchen Cabinets?

While 18 inches off the counter is the bare minimum in height when you still want to fit small appliances underneath your cabinets, that doesn’t mean that you are stuck with following the general standards of installation. There are many different circumstances where raising your kitchen cabinets can result in a beautiful outcome that gives you the kitchen of your dreams, and you’ll want to consider raising the height of your cabinets when:

You have a Taller-than-Average Family

Above all, the kitchen needs to be functional, which can be a challenge when you or members of your family are taller than the average person. When a tall individual is working inside the kitchen, their line of sight can be affected by standard-height cabinets, so it pays to raise them up to make them more convenient to use throughout your daily routine.

Your Kitchen Features are on the Larger Side

Do you have a tall, sleek faucet in your kitchen? Is your kitchen sink built to offer oversized depth? Are you trying to coordinate your cabinets around a large, already installed pantry? When you have large kitchen features like this in your current kitchen, raising the cabinets up to 30 inches off of the countertop will offer a more balanced aesthetic and give you the extra room you need to maneuver in the space.

You Want to Make a Bold Statement With Style

Whether you have a brand-new, modern backsplash in your kitchen or you have decided to go with bold cabinets in a trendy color, the best way to support your statement-piece kitchen is by raising-up your overhead cabinets. This allows for an unobstructed view of your custom backsplash addition, while also adding an open feel to the space that balances with the striking, untraditional color scheme of your cabinetry.

You Want to Get Creative With Storage

A big factor in how functional your kitchen is comes down to the amount of storage that you have in the space. While the primary purpose of cabinets is to create this essential storage room, there are times that you want to use untraditional methods to display some of your kitchen treasures! By raising the cabinets, you can create wall space that is perfect for unique shelving and hanging storage for pots, pans, and kitchen gadgets.

Storage needs, aesthetic design, and layout all play a role in the ideal cabinet height, but you also need to take into account the size of the cabinets that you are installing! Oversized cabinets take up more room and benefit from higher installation, while standard or small-size cabinets give you more leeway in leaning towards a standard height. Looking at a comprehensive cabinet size guide can be a great starting point for not only choosing the right cabinets for your space, but also for narrowing down your vision for their final installation.

Whether you have a modern kitchen with industrial accents or a traditional, country-style kitchen that is incredibly warm and inviting, it pays to think outside-of-the-box when it comes to the layout and height of your kitchen cabinets. A reputable remodeler can help you try out a few different height options to find the best fit for your home, but above all, the final decision comes down to your personal preferences.

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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

Thanks for sharing this blog. You should work closely with your interior designer so that you can decide on the best.

Reginne Kelly
Reginne Kelly

Good understanding of the options for standard, bar, counter, and kitchen counter height tables and look perfect.


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